Asbestos removal work

A licence is required to remove any amount of friable asbestos and more than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos in a workplace. However there is no restriction on the amount or type of asbestos a homeowner can remove from their own home.

Due to the safety risks involved, all asbestos should be removed by a business licensed to remove asbestos. Asbestos removal licences are issued to a business. The individual workers removing the asbestos are not licensed, but must have completed certain training requirements.

An asbestos removal licence issued by NT WorkSafe is valid for five years.

Requirements for licensed asbestos removal work

Before licensed asbestos removal work begins, the licenced removalist or its workers must:

  • get a copy of the asbestos register for the workplace
  • prepare an asbestos removal control plan (ARCP) and give it to the person who engaged the business to complete the removal
  • a copy of the ARCP must be available onsite until completion of the asbestos removal
  • notify NT WorkSafe five days before removal work begins
  • inform people at the workplace or occupying premises in the immediate vicinity of the removal area before asbestos removal work starts
  • erect signage and barricades and limit access to the asbestos removal work area
  • have decontamination facilities available
  • dispose of asbestos waste properly
  • be aware of additional requirements for class A asbestos removal work, including air monitoring

Documents required for asbestos removal and asbestos-related work

Preparing an asbestos removal control plan

A licensed asbestos removalist must prepare and document an ARCP for any licensed asbestos removal work. The ARCP must include:

  • details of how the asbestos removal will be carried out, including the method to be used and the tools, equipment and personal protective equipment to be used
  • details of the asbestos to be removed, including location, type and condition of the asbestos

Safe work method statement

A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) carrying out high risk construction work must prepare and document a safe work method statement (SWMS). High risk construction work includes construction work that involves or is likely to involve, the disturbance of asbestos. A SWMS must:

  • identify the high risk construction work
  • state hazards relating to the high risk construction work and risks to health and safety associated with those hazards
  • describe the measures to be implemented to control the risks
  • describe how the control measures are to be implemented, monitored and reviewed

If the high risk construction work only involves the removal of asbestos, a SWMS is not required if the asbestos removal control plan includes the information normally contained in a SWMS.

Record keeping

The asbestos removal control plan and the SWMS must be kept until the work the documents were prepared for have been completed. The asbestos removal control plan must be readily accessible to other PCBUs and workers at the workplace, and the SWMS must be readily accessible to any worker engaged by the PCBU to carry out the high risk construction work.

If a notifiable incident occurs in connection with the work the documents were prepared for, that document must be kept for two years after the incident occurs.

Other asbestos work requiring documentation

The removal of less than ten square metres of non-friable asbestos containing material (ACM), or removal of asbestos-contaminated dust or debris (ACD) associated with that work, does not require an asbestos removal control plan, however a SWMS is required and must be documented.

Asbestos-related work means work involving asbestos other than asbestos removal work, for example, drilling into ACM. Asbestos-related work that is also high risk construction work (i.e. construction work that involves the disturbance of asbestos) requires a documented SWMS.